Egypt is one of many countries that has been affected by the 2019-2020 outbreak of coronavirus, and a number of safety measures were put in place to try to contain the disease.
Travel restrictions, quarantine, medical testing, and temporarily closing offices, schools, and other establishments were part of the measures implemented in Egypt to stop the spread of COVID-19.
However, although all air traffic in and out of Egypt was previously suspended, travel to the country is once again possible now that the restrictions have been relaxed.
Read on to discover the Egypt travel advisory for your country and the safety measures you should take when traveling.
How Is Coronavirus Affecting Travel to Egypt?
Egypt has begun to relax its preventive measures against coronavirus as the rate of infections decreases, in order to encourage tourists to return to the country, as tourism makes up a large part of the Egyptian economy.
The Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities in Egypt has decided to cut entrance fees in half for all museums and archeological sites, in a bid to encourage tourist arrivals.
Although a complete flight ban was implemented for the country in March, this has now been lifted, and a limited number of services to Egypt are now operating from a variety of international destinations, including direct and indirect flights to the United States.
Nevertheless, all passengers arriving in Egypt by air, including returning Egyptian residents, are still required to have their temperature taken and self-quarantine for 7 days.
Visas, including the Egyptian online visa, are still being granted to travelers from eligible countries.
Check the requirements for the Egypt online visa to see which nationalities may apply.
Activity Restrictions in Egypt
Egyptians and foreigners who are currently in the country have been asked to respect activity limitations designed to minimize the risk of contagion. However, restrictions against many activities in Egypt are now being relaxed and are expected to be completely abolished by the end of June.
On June 14th, the hours of evening curfew were changed to 8 pm until 4 am, this curfew is expected to remain in place until June 28th. It is still compulsory to wear a mask when out in public in Egypt.
Hotels in Egypt have now resumed operation, and have been able to operate at 50% capacity since June 1st. Casinos are also allowed to open if they do not exceed 50% of their total capacity.
All commercial properties in Egypt that have been able to reopen have been subject to mandatory sterilization measures and an audit to make sure they meet the new hygiene standards. All staff and guests must be provided with protective face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, and contactless check-in is now compulsory.
Schools, universities, and shopping malls remain closed in Egypt. Shops are closed during the curfew (8:00pm -4:00 a.m.) and throughout the whole day on Fridays and Saturdays. The closure does not apply to bakeries, grocery stores outside of shopping malls, and pharmacies.
Restaurants remain open but only for deliveries. The use of public and private transportation is prohibited during curfew hours.
Travel Restrictions from Egypt to Other Countries
Although entry bans for a number of countries remain in place due to coronavirus concerns, and some states have announced that they will not receive travelers who have recently been to the North African country, travel restrictions from Egypt have now been relaxed for many territories around the world.
However, those traveling from Egypt to a third country may still be required to self-isolate upon arrival in their destination.
Although the border between Egypt and Jordan remains closed and ferries between Jordan and Egypt have been suspended, the Rafah border crossing with Gaza has now been reopened.
The following countries have placed a ban on all travelers who have visited or even transited through Egypt, apart from their own nationals:
- Saudi Arabia
Nevertheless. some countries, including the United Kingdom, continue to issue Egypt travel warnings to their citizens, advising them to only travel if absolutely necessary.
How Has Egypt Been Affected by Coronavirus?
Egypt has had over 2000 confirmed cases of coronavirus. However, due to the relatively young population and the fact that symptoms are often mild in younger patients, it is suspected that there may be many more people infected than the ones officially registered.
A number of people, mainly foreign nationals, were quarantined and tested for COVID-19 after being on a Nile cruise, with a number testing positive.
COVID-19 testing and quarantine facilities have been set up at hospitals across Egypt.
Foreigners in the country should follow this travel advisory to Egypt:
- Avoid large gatherings of people
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after contact with others
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Try to maintain a distance of at least a meter between yourself and strangers when out in public
General Restrictions on Traveling to Egypt
Under normal circumstances, individuals of all nationalities may visit Egypt, although the requirements to do so vary from country to country.
Most travelers cannot enter Egypt without a visa.
Various travelers can apply online for an eVisa for Egypt, including nationals of the following:
- All European Union countries
- North Korea
- South Korea
- North Macedonia
- United Kingdom
- United States
The online visa application for Egypt is quick and simple to complete.
There are more severe restrictions against citizens of the following countries. Travelers from these nations must have state approval from Egypt in addition to a visa in order to enter the country:
- Sri Lanka
While most travelers require a visa, there are a few exceptions. Visitors of the following nationalities may enter Egypt visa-free:
- Hong Kong
- Lebanon (Borg El Arab Airport, Hurghada Airport or Sharm el Sheikh Airport only, if arriving on a charter flight)
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- Malaysia (for up to 14 days)
General Travel Advisory for Egypt
There are certain things to bear in mind even at the best of times when visiting Egypt. Government travel advice is generally to avoid the Sinai peninsula apart from the region around Sharm El Sheik due to ongoing conflict in the region.
Conversely, the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions—home to most of Egypt’s famous tourist sites and major cities—are considered safe.
Other general Egypt travel advice includes:
- Have comprehensive medical insurance that includes medical evacuation
- Avoid demonstrations and crowds
- Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners